NFL News and Notes: Warner likely to return, Raiders cut safety Wilson

Kurt Warner– According to Kurt Warner’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, the free agent quarterback will not retire this offseason and is likely to play in 2009. The chances of Warner returning to Arizona are very high, regardless of what happens with receiver Anquan Boldin.

– The Raiders cut three players on Friday evening, including safety Gibril Wilson, who was given a six-year, $39 million contract by Oakland just one season ago. The Raiders also cut wide receiver Ronald Curry and defensive end Kalimba Edwards.

– The Saints offered a second-round tender on restricted free agent wide receiver Lance Moore, who is likely to return to New Orleans next season.

– The Dolphins have agreed to terms with right tackle Vernon Carey on a six-year, $42 million contract. The Bears were reportedly one of the teams interested in Carey if he hit the open market.

– The Jets released tight end Chris Baker before he was due a $9 million roster bonus on March 5. The team could still re-sign him at a cheaper price, although with Dustin Keller already on the roster, bringing back Baker isn’t a must.

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Offseason Blueprint: Oakland Raiders

Notable Free Agents: Nnamdi Asomugha (re-signed), CB; Shane Lechler (re-signed), P; Chris Johnson (re-signed), CB; Jake Grove, C; Cooper Carlisle, G.

Projected 2009 Cap Space: $4,000,000

Draft Order: 7

Top Needs: Not unlike other teams selecting at the top of the draft, the Raiders are mostly in need of offensive line help. Defensive line, wide receiver and linebacker could also be addressed.

Offseason Outlook: The Raiders’ top priority was to ensure that cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha didn’t hit the open market, and they accomplished that by inking him to a new three-year, $45 million contract. Asomugha’s deal is complex and you can read more details here, but the bottom line is that he’ll once again anchor the Raiders’ secondary in 2009.

Al Davis also re-signed punter Shane Lechler to a four-year, $16 million contract. That might not be big news to some, but considering how much the Raiders punt during the regular season, re-signing Lechler was a wise move.

The biggest challenge Davis now faces is how will he free up enough cap space to address other needs. The Raiders were sitting at $4 million under the cap before the re-signings of Asomugha and Lechler. Are cuts coming? If so, who will be shown the door?

One name that has recently come up in trade speculation is defensive end Derrick Burgess, who the Raiders are rumored to be shopping. Burgess becomes a free agent after the 2009 season so it would make sense that Oakland would trade him now in order to gain compensation. If they were able to trade him, they would free up $3.5 million in cap space, which isn’t a huge amount but it would help.

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